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PR-/91
Ziqaad 19, 1437 A.H.
AUGUST 23, 2016

Stakeholders be taken on board in policy making process: Rajwana

KARACHI: Governor Punjab Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana has stressed that all stakeholders must be taken on board in the policy making process which would surely result in resolving numerous issues being faced by the businessmen and industrialists and it will create a much better environment. Addressing the members of the business community during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), Governor Punjab added that although issues persist as rightly pointed out by Karachi Chamber but the overall situation has been gradually improving and it will improve further through collective efforts. Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, Vice Chairmen BMG and Former Presidents KCCI Zubair Motiwala and Haroon Farooki, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Naeem Sharif, MNA Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present on the occasion. Appreciating the role played by Karachi and Sindh province in the economic development of Pakistan, Rafique Rajwana said that Karachi was the heart of Pakistan and the progress of entire country depends on the progress of Karachi city which contributes a massive chunk of revenue to the national exchequer. Referring to Karachi Operation and Operation Zarb-e-Azb, he said that all political parties consented to initiate these two operations which delivered positive results and the law and order situation in Karachi was much better as compared to what it had been in the past. “The same consensus is needed from all stakeholders to deal with other issues being faced by the country”, he added while stressing the need for performance-based politics instead of politics of allegations. Governor Punjab further assured to bring all issues highlighted by Karachi Chamber to the notice of Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other decision makers so that these issues could be resolved. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli said that it was for the very first time during the last 19 years of BMG era that a Governor from Punjab province has visited Karachi Chamber which the business and industrial community of Karachi warmly welcomes.

He said that Karachi city, which was the largest city of Pakistan, spread over a massive land of 3500 square kilometer and with a population of around 20.25 million, takes lead in all the economic aspects including revenue contribution, taxation, industrial production, exports and imports etc. He said, “It was our right to raise voice for Karachi city which should not be misinterpreted as the rest of the country also belongs to us to it was also dear to all of us.” “Although we contribute massive taxes to the national exchequer, but we never demand that the entire amount should be spent on Karachi. However, a fair system should be implemented and decisions about resources’ distributions should accordingly be taken under the said system”, he added.

He requested the Governor Punjab to deliver Karachi Chamber’s message to brothers in Punjab and other provinces that the business and industrial community of Karachi was with them and they will always be with them and absolutely have no issues with brothers in Punjab and other provinces. Appreciating the achievements of Karachi Operation, Siraj Teli said that the law and order situation has substantially improved by more than 70 percent thanks to the pressure exerted by Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif. However, lot more still needs to be done and there was a need to put an adequate system in place which would ensure sustainable peace across the city. He also appreciated Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for staging an event in Islamabad to distribute the much awaited refund claims’ cheques amongst businessmen and industrialists and hoped that by August 31, 2016, all refund claims will be settled as committed by Ishaq Dar.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chairman BMG and Former President KCCI Zubair Motiwala advised Governor Punjab to carry out extensive review of the situation and come up with a critical analysis pertaining to what was available in Karachi and can be provided to Lahore and what Lahore can provide to Karachi. “We have to supplement and complement each other, besides focus on promoting unity amongst provinces”, he added.

He asked Governor Punjab to extend heartfelt gratitude to Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif on behalf of Karachi Chamber for initiating Karachi Operation which was progressing well but it must continue until this operation achieves a logical conclusion whereas a strategy must also be devised for sustainable peace in Karachi. Vice Chairman BMG and Former President KCCI Haroon Farooki, in his remarks, pointed out that the stakeholders of Karachi city were constantly being ignored in almost all policies including fiscal, economic, law & order and infrastructure policies, which has triggered a sense of deprivation amongst the citizens of the largest city of the country. He was of the view that effective coordination over issues of trade and industry was a must amongst all provinces as most of the issues confronted by the business and industrial community of any province were more or less the same. “Province must not compete but complement each other and this national spirit has to been triggered which is the only way forward for a prosperous Pakistan”, he added.

President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, while welcoming the Governor, stated that Karachi was constantly being ignored by the federal government, resulting in intensifying the hardships for the business and industrial community of a city which continues to contribute a mammoth amount of more than 65 percent revenue to the national exchequer despite so many odds. “Karachi needs more attention from the federal government and they must give its due share to this city”, he said, adding that lots of development work has been undertaken by federal government in other cities but Karachi is constantly being ignored. “We were unable to understand and simply don’t know what exactly is our fault”, he asked. Referring to the problems emerging after the implementation of Property Valuation Tables and imposition of Withholding Tax on banking transactions, he said that these decisions were taken without taking the genuine representatives of the business and industrial community on board. Hence, these anti-business measures led to creating a crisis-like situation and it was a well-known fact that withholding tax on banking transactions failed to yield the desired results and the recently implemented property valuation tables were also expected to be the same. Such poor decision making will only fetch bad name for the present government and terribly shake the confidence of business and industrial community, he added.